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Why Soft Skills Matter: 2010 Job Outlook

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Why Soft Skills Matter: 2010 Job Outlook. Beverly Amer, Northern Arizona University. Backstory. Soft Skills are: Traits, attitudes and behaviors rather than technical skills and abilities More important than ever in today’s job market A challenge to teach in “technical” courses!.

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why soft skills matter 2010 job outlook

Why Soft Skills Matter:2010 Job Outlook

Beverly Amer, Northern Arizona University

backstory
Backstory
  • Soft Skills are:
    • Traits, attitudes and behaviors rather than technical skills and abilities
    • More important than ever in today’s job market
    • A challenge to teach in “technical” courses!
why do soft skills matter job outlook 2010
Why Do Soft Skills Matter?Job Outlook 2010
  • Annual Survey – National Association of Colleges and Employers
    • Across all industries and regions of US
  • College Hiring:
    • DOWN 7% for 2010 grads over last year
    • DOWN 37% in West
top five majors west
Top Five Majors - West
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Finance
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration/Management
what employers are looking for
What Employers Are Looking For
  • Greater emphasis on GPA as an interview screen
    • 75% of employers use a GPA screen
    • Most common cutoff is 3.0 GPA
  • On resume’ – choosing one candidate over another
    • Leadership position
    • Major
    • High GPA (3.0 +)
    • Extra-curricular activities
    • Volunteer work
what about work experience
What About Work Experience?
  • 76.6% prefer someone with relevant work experience
    • Internships count here
and soft skills
And Soft Skills?
  • Communication skills top the list of attributes employers desire most
  • Other attributes near the top:
    • Strong work ethic
    • Initiative
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Teamwork skills
oddly enough
Oddly Enough…
  • Attributes employers list as MOST LACKING in college graduates?
    • Communication skills
    • Flexibility/adaptability
    • Tactfulness
    • Initiative
    • Teamwork skills
    • Note: Only 2.3% of employers reported that computer skills are lacking
soft skills case study communication skills
Soft Skills Case Study:Communication Skills
  • Scenario: First research report assignment at work
    • Topic: Workplace entrepreneurship
  • Decision: What should I include in my report and e-mail message?
  • Video from Soft Skills at Work
video critique
Video Critique
  • Task
    • Review Jill and Marcus’ reports and e-mail messages
      • Correct errors
  • How did they do?
  • In a CIS course, where could this be introduced as an assignment?
results
Results?
  • Swap papers with another group
  • Assign a grade – how did we do?
why i teach communication skills e mail etiquette
Why I Teach Communication Skills & E-Mail Etiquette
  • “I submitted the wrong one, i will attach it to this file, oh and i put average next to the average cause it didnt make sence not to, and im sorry if i was just meant to tell you and you would forget about that one but idont know if i will be here in the morning to check my email but yai will just attach it to this file, well see you tomorrow”
soft skills your students
Soft Skills & Your Students
  • How can you help your students start developing their:
    • Communication skills
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Teamwork skills
making room
Making Room
  • Use the technology you are already teaching
    • Wordone-page written summaries
    • PPT presentationin groups
    • Excel spreadsheet analysis to accompany Word reports
  • Entire workbook integrated into course
resources to help you
Resources to Help You
  • Soft Skills at Workworkbook for students
  • Web site from Cengage
    • www.cengage.com/ct/softskills
  • New! “Pro Skills” incorporated into New Perspectives Office 2010 First Course lab manual
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